The thought of having to connect with complete strangers, for those who are new to meetings, sounds daunting and well, impossible. The good thing is that there are many of us who have done it, overcome the fear and can now share with you how to connect with others at meetings.
So if you find that you are having trouble meeting people then learning how to connect with others at meetings is paramount.
Connecting with others at meetings is a big part of recovery. Learning that you are not alone and that other people care about you is something that addicts and alcoholics in 12 step fellowships need along with a sponsor and a relationship with a higher power.
Here’s how to connect with others at meetings.
Share. If the meeting you are attending allows for individual sharing at some point then raise your hand and say you are new. Share what you are going through and that you need help and some phone numbers.
Utilize the time after the meeting. If you really want to connect with others at meetings then one of your best bets is to go up to the chair people after the meeting and ask for their numbers. This may seem scary but you don’t have to do much, just introduce yourself and ask for their phone number. Most of the time the person who chaired the meeting will do the connecting for you, all you have to do is make the first step.
Be vulnerable, be transparent. If you truly want to connect with others at meetings then you need to be vulnerable. Talking to a new acquaintance about what is truly going on with you and letting them know if you are having a rough time even though might not want to is a great way to connect with others at meetings. Human beings do the most bonding through overcoming struggles together. Take my advice and be vulnerable and share your struggles with someone else; don’t hide anything from fear of judgment. You will slowly learn that most of us in 12 step fellowships have felt the same way as you or been through the exact same thing. This will really help you to connect with others at meetings.
If you aren’t struggling then don’t talk about yourself. Ask about them. If you know just a little bit about someone, then asking them about that little bit you know can really help you to connect with others at meetings. For instance, if you know someone just had a baby, got a new job, or started dating someone new-ask them how those things are going or say for example, “I heard you got a new job, how is that going?” This is the basis of communication and it is also the basis on how to connect with others at meetings.
Keep showing up at the same 12 step meetings. Make a point to go to the same meetings and find a home group. This allows people to see your face more often and they will start to remember you. You will slowly start to connect with others at meetings just through familiarity because they see you and you see them so often.
The great thing about learning how to connect with others at meetings is that it comes naturally. Through the first bond you make with your sponsor you slowly learn how to connect with others at meetings. Also as it says in the program of AA, a fellowship will come up around you. If you keep showing up, doing the right things, reaching your hand out, and being transparent then you will surely find yourself knowing how to connect with others at meetings.
If you or someone you know needs drug or alcohol treatment, call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.